Books for Teaching Responsibility


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Welcome to Mentor Monday! This week we’re discussing character education in the classroom. The trait my fellow teacher bloggers and I have chosen is responsibility. We all know how important it is to be responsible and model being responsible, but what is the best way to translate that in the classroom?

One of the best ways is through storytelling. I love oral storytelling with children. With the right story, voices, and enthusiasm, a good story can come alive through oral tradition.  Sister Mary told us stories in the Bible when I was in second grade. She could storytell so vividly, it’s like you right there. That was religion class for us. Sitting and listening to stories.

One story of responsibility I like to tell is the one of my Grandmother when she turned 18. She lived on a small potato farm in northern Maine. During The Great Depression, money was scarce. Grandma was sent to Boston to live with her aunt, find a job and send money back home. She left home with two bags. One had a change of clothes, and the other had potatoes. She was given 20 cents and sent to Boston on a train. The city was mighty different than the rolling hills of Presque Isle. She traded her view of a sea of potato blossoms, for a view of the sea at Castle Island. She got a job waitressing and sent money home every week. Even when Grandma was married and raising her 6 children, she still sent money home to her family in Maine.

The book I’ve chosen for you to read to your class is The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey. It’s just a simple and quiet book of a little boy getting up early to deliver newspapers, no matter what. Use this book for the following:

  • You can share this book and discuss what your children are responsible for on a regular basis.
  • Do they have a task that must be completed, no matter what?
  • What are obstacles that get in the way sometimes?
  • Use this mentor text as a chance to write about personal responsibility and its importance. 

Here’s a little freebie for you to put at a listening center. I linked it to a Safeshare site, so it won’t be blocked in your classroom, as a Youtube video would. Click here to download it.

What books do you like to read that demonstrate this character trait? Can you think of a story of personal responsibility to storytell orally to your class? I’d love to hear about it. Please be sure to leave me a comment and be sure to check my other Mentor Monday posts.


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